Pedestrian managers hired to prevent pedestrian and biker collisions on city bridges will cost taxpayers $80,000 a month
Safety officers installed on three city bridges to keep the peace between cyclists and pedestrians will cost taxpayers about $80,000 a month, officials said Tuesday.
The program, which started Monday and is slated to end Nov.26 - but could return in the spring - has drawn mixed reviews from bridge users and advocates.
The pro-biking group Transportation Alternatives called the bridge baby-sitters "a short-term Band-Aid."
"Ultimately, the best solution would be to make the roadway safe for bicycles with dedicated space and reserve the other paths for pedestrians," said spokesman Michael Murphy.
Jeremy Zweig of the New York Alliance for Pedestrian Safety said he was glad the city Department of Transportation was dealing with the clash between bikers and walkers on the bridges. "This seems to be the most sensible and reasonable thing that can be enacted immediately," Zweig said.
The $38-an-hour "pedestrian managers" have been assigned to the Brooklyn, Manhattan and Williamsburg bridges and told to educate users about the rules of the road. The workers, employed by Sam Schwartz Engineering, can't give out tickets or physically interfere, they said. (Sam Schwartz writes the Gridlock Sam column for the Daily News.)
At the Manhattan Bridge, they are stationed at on-ramps to make sure cyclists and pedestrians use their designated sides.
On the Brooklyn Bridge, they took up position on the white line separating the two narrow lanes, trying to stop tourists from blindly walking into fast-moving bikes.